Opinions on the European Union? 22 replies

Please wait...

Freyr VIP Member

A2Files Staff

46,876 XP

6th February 2005

11 Uploads

4,275 Posts

0 Threads

#11 7 years ago

Commissar MercZ;5592608Looking at the news that came out of this summit, it seems that France and Germany were able to get the agreement of 17 EU members with respects to a tighter fiscal union and greater regulation over member states' budget deficits and what not. The notable event that caused waves in the media though appears to be the UK's veto of the agreement and refusal to take part in it. In a way though I wasn't surprised by Britain's rejection of the agreement.

It would be interesting to see how the EU moves on this agreement among the nations who made the agreement and where the UK lies within it now.

Britain doesn't, and shouldn't lie within any agreement relating to the Euro. We shouldn't pay for it's failures since we aren't a member.

Just because we are the second largest net contribute to the EU budget does not mean we will pay yet more to bail out those who still refuse to get with reality and live within their means. The UK has had to accept heavy cuts to services to remain in reasonable financial condition, why other countries expect us to make further cuts and borrow money so they shouldn't have to make any sacrifices is completely beyond the great majority of the working population of the UK.

In addition, for the past decade ~70% of legislation passed in the UK has been written by the EU. Britons are sick of it. The basis of EU law is utterly foreign to the UK, our law was written around having the freedom to do anything with narrow proscriptions placed around areas of concern. The EU works on the basis of everything being forbidden, and the state graciously allowing you to do some things. This incompatibility has created jarring inconsistencies within UK law which is being gleefully exploited by criminals, most notably with the Human Rights Act which is universally detested as it's only used by criminals.

This has created a lot of discontent within the UK towards the EU, who in this environment have announced they want further control over our country, and intend to screw our economic recovery by putting in an EU tax on our financial markets, forcing business towards other financial centres instead of the UK.

Not going to happen, and pushing would be really, really unwise.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,861 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,182 Posts

6 Threads

#12 7 years ago

Britain's banks hold, I believe, ~£2.5bn worth of Greek bonds alone. (Which realistically the government should just have bought off them in return for yet more shares....) If the Euro goes down those bonds, and all the other debt the banks own in Europe, are likely to go down with it. Not to mention that we do about half our trade with Europe, which'd obviously drop off if the markets over there went totally tits up.

We tied ourselves to Europe a fair time back now and it's not clear to me that getting away from it's something we can do at this stage.




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#13 7 years ago
Freyr;5592669 In addition, for the past decade ~70% of legislation passed in the UK has been written by the EU. Britons are sick of it. The basis of EU law is utterly foreign to the UK, our law was written around having the freedom to do anything with narrow proscriptions placed around areas of concern. The EU works on the basis of everything being forbidden, and the state graciously allowing you to do some things. This incompatibility has created jarring inconsistencies within UK law which is being gleefully exploited by criminals, most notably with the Human Rights Act which is universally detested as it's only used by criminals.

I think it would be a stretch to say that 70% of legislation is written by the EU. That kind of seems... stretched. I can't see a proportion that high without greater integration in the offending entity, which no state to my knowledge has. Only nations that currently can arguably attest to have that much control by the EU right now is the ones with appointed technocratic shareholder governments- like Greece and Italy- as they implement austerity and tax hikes.

And to be hung over by supposed infringements/manipulations by criminals doesn't really look like a legitimate reason to be angry at the EU- that could have happened with our with out a supranational entity. Here in the US we experience the same 'debate' with people claiming criminals get 'lucky' or exploit legal passages, with many calls to 'toughen' stances against crime and get those that get off easy. Of course this is often seen from people looking at the justice system from the outside and how the media wishes to direct their attention to 'certain' flaws while ignoring others.

Point being though, US still has this while being 'sovereign'. So I don't think one could blame that on membership in the EU.

I think the reasoning behind the rejection from the PM's perspective wasn't as much the issue of the continuing bailouts, as it was the treaty's provisions of a tighter financial union would probably remove budgeting power from sovereign nations to EU functionaries. This has been a criticism by many groups who have been observing the way the EU has been 'forcing' legislation and political moves in Greece and now Italy, and whether or not this treaty would expand that role.

A total disengagement from European markets though would be difficult, as Nem already pointed out.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

#BanRadioActiveLobster

357,077 XP

17th June 2002

7 Uploads

33,701 Posts

780 Threads

#14 7 years ago
Commissar MercZ;5593371I think it would be a stretch to say that 70% of legislation is written by the EU. That kind of seems... stretched.

That's because it is.

Nobody can agree on an exact figure for the proportion of legislation enacted by, or directly related to, the European Union in Britain. Euroskeptics claim that it is upwards of 85%, while pro-EU Labour MPs once pegged it as low as 9%.

The most realistic percentage is unclear, but it's the best you're likely to find; an independent study called 'How Much Legislation comes from Europe?' suggested that "it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts". From what I can tell, this is a pretty sound - if vague - conclusion.

And to be hung over by supposed infringements/manipulations by criminals doesn't really look like a legitimate reason to be angry at the EU- that could have happened with our with out a supranational entity.

I think the argument on this point is that these loopholes didn't exist prior to closer membership with the European Union. The 1998 Human Rights Act, of all things, is cited as a commonly-abused piece of legislation in this regard. It is accused of being responsible for various 'atrocities against law-abiding people', typically by the Tories during their pre-election speeches, such as convicted criminals seeking compensation, various political-correctness-gone-mad scandals, and that criminals have too many rights.

Many of the accusations levelled against it are frequently hyperbole, misunderstandings or simple fabrications, but the HRA98 is definitely a flawed piece of legislation in many regards and could use some serious work, if not scrapping altogether.

I think the reasoning behind the rejection from the PM's perspective wasn't as much the issue of the continuing bailouts, as it was the treaty's provisions of a tighter financial union would probably remove budgeting power from sovereign nations to EU functionaries. This has been a criticism by many groups who have been observing the way the EU has been 'forcing' legislation and political moves in Greece and now Italy, and whether or not this treaty would expand that role.

And for once I agree with the PM. As I said before, tighter financial controls in a group with such disparate economies as Europe can only spell disaster, especially in times such as these. If you want to place restrictions on Greece and co. as a condition of the various bail-outs we're giving them, that's one thing. Using it as an excuse to seize further powers from the entire Eurozone is another thing entirely.




Rikupsoni

Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander

50 XP

26th April 2004

0 Uploads

3,047 Posts

0 Threads

#15 7 years ago

Mr. Matt;5593713That's because it is.

Nobody can agree on an exact figure for the proportion of legislation enacted by, or directly related to, the European Union in Britain. Euroskeptics claim that it is upwards of 85%, while pro-EU Labour MPs once pegged it as low as 9%.

I think the official sources in Finland have said 50 % of the legislation is based on EU decisions, not that they're straight laws but they can adjust the directives somewhat.

I don't think it can be that high as 85 % at all, but surely many EU directives are broad and cover a lot of things.

But remember that even Switzerland and Norway have a lot of EU financial laws because they're EFTA members.

But indeed there's no reason to address everything by those directives, for example this year Brussels ignored that there's actually a real winter in the Nordic countries and thus ignored the fact that we need proper winter tyres for cars. With the new directive on tyre qualities they have to worsen the winter tyres. With countless of examples like that, of course it's not going to make public image of EU law not good.

To deal completely without EU or international legislation isn't going to be likely. With Norway people say they have to implement EU legislation without being able to influence the decision-making because they're not members.




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#16 7 years ago

Mr. Matt;5593713That's because it is.

Nobody can agree on an exact figure for the proportion of legislation enacted by, or directly related to, the European Union in Britain. Euroskeptics claim that it is upwards of 85%, while pro-EU Labour MPs once pegged it as low as 9%.

The most realistic percentage is unclear, but it's the best you're likely to find; an independent study called 'How Much Legislation comes from Europe?' suggested that "it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts". From what I can tell, this is a pretty sound - if vague - conclusion. [/quote]

Yeah, those figures sound more likely to me. I think the 85% just seems a bit high and more based on sensationalism more than anything else.

I think the argument on this point is that these loopholes didn't exist prior to closer membership with the European Union. The 1998 Human Rights Act, of all things, is cited as a commonly-abused piece of legislation in this regard. It is accused of being responsible for various 'atrocities against law-abiding people', typically by the Tories during their pre-election speeches, such as convicted criminals seeking compensation, various political-correctness-gone-mad scandals, and that criminals have too many rights.

Many of the accusations levelled against it are frequently hyperbole, misunderstandings or simple fabrications, but the HRA98 is definitely a flawed piece of legislation in many regards and could use some serious work, if not scrapping altogether.

I don't doubt it is. It does remind me of similar 'debates' here regarding criminal laws too. It would have emerged in some form or another, the whole drive for 'Victims' Rights' is a powerful one in the political arena. Alex Jones is a good example of this with regards to the fanciful conspiracies regarding a North American Union and UN (?) subversion of national sovereignty.

And for once I agree with the PM. As I said before, tighter financial controls in a group with such disparate economies as Europe can only spell disaster, especially in times such as these. If you want to place restrictions on Greece and co. as a condition of the various bail-outs we're giving them, that's one thing. Using it as an excuse to seize further powers from the entire Eurozone is another thing entirely.

That's the idea I'm getting too. Though I think any other PM in his position probably would have arrived at the same conclusion, even those that are pro-EU. Some of these questions about the future of the EU will naturally bring up once again which nations would end up being the dominating power in the body and which'll end up below that.

Again in the US the most people could look at is NAFTA, which is more economic and more streamlined to debates over free trade. When it gets more into questions of sovereignty this doesn't exist in the US, though the whole states' rights deal has been a big vote getter for some groups. Actual secessionist groups though are less common though- most of the time it's just for show, ex Governor Perry and his threat to have Texas secede.

[QUOTE=Rikupsoni;5593729]I think the official sources in Finland have said 50 % of the legislation is based on EU decisions, not that they're straight laws but they can adjust the directives somewhat.

I don't think it can be that high as 85 % at all, but surely many EU directives are broad and cover a lot of things.

But remember that even Switzerland and Norway have a lot of EU financial laws because they're EFTA members.

But indeed there's no reason to address everything by those directives, for example this year Brussels ignored that there's actually a real winter in the Nordic countries and thus ignored the fact that we need proper winter tyres for cars. With the new directive on tyre qualities they have to worsen the winter tyres. With countless of examples like that, of course it's not going to make public image of EU law not good.

To deal completely without EU or international legislation isn't going to be likely. With Norway people say they have to implement EU legislation without being able to influence the decision-making because they're not members.

What are these tire laws based on? Some sort of environmental agreement or what? I wasn't aware of idiotic things like that being doled out, but like you said that certainly won't help the public image of the EU.

Since you are in Finland, what would you say the 'public' opinion(s) is towards the EU. Has there been any changes as a result of the current problems?




Huffardo

Arrrr!

48,770 XP

29th November 2003

0 Uploads

4,632 Posts

0 Threads

#17 7 years ago
Rikupsoni;5593729 But indeed there's no reason to address everything by those directives, for example this year Brussels ignored that there's actually a real winter in the Nordic countries and thus ignored the fact that we need proper winter tyres for cars. With the new directive on tyre qualities they have to worsen the winter tyres. With countless of examples like that, of course it's not going to make public image of EU law not good.

It only applies to Nordic friction tyres, studded tyres will continue to be legal.

Although this directive is basically banning Nordic friction tyres because they couldn't be bothered to make an exception for a few small and insignificant countries that happen to get rather extreme road conditions, friction tyres cause dangerous particles to lift from the tarmac and mix with the air we breathe, so I'm not complaining. This also finally settles the debate on banning studded tyres in order to lower road maintenance costs, and thus potentially saves a lot of lives.

This whole ordeal is blown way out of proportion, but that's exactly what The Finns (party formerly known as the True Finns) wanted, so I'm not one bit surprised.

The sad thing is, The Finns were right about the eurozone. Sure, it was for all the (disturbingly) wrong reasons, but it no longer is difficult to agree with them about leaving the mess down south to burn.




Biiviz

Eggs!

50 XP

29th February 2004

0 Uploads

3,168 Posts

0 Threads

#18 7 years ago

Ugh. Please don't use the new party name "The Finns" when referring to the True Finns party. It's a ridiculous, misleading name. :uhm:




Freyr VIP Member

A2Files Staff

46,876 XP

6th February 2005

11 Uploads

4,275 Posts

0 Threads

#19 7 years ago
Commissar MercZ;5593817Yeah, those figures sound more likely to me. I think the 85% just seems a bit high and more based on sensationalism more than anything else.

Nobody has claimed upwards of 85%. The figure of 85% is the Official, actual figure from Germany who frankly are the only people in Europe organised enough to calculate the precise number. However even that figure is only their federal laws, and not including local laws which is apparently where most legislation is done in Germany.

The absolute lowest figure in the UK is 9%, however this only counts primary legislation and does not include SI's or anything else so it's woefully incomplete. The PM said about 50% in a speech some while ago, industry calculates that 75% of the cost of complying with regulation is distributable to EU regulation. Basically, nobody knows and you can reasonably justify any set of figures level between 9-75% in the UK.

A request was made in the commons to calculate the exact figure, however the response was that doing so is cost prohibitive as it would require every single instruction issued to be traced back to source, and the issuing authority queried as to who's authority the instruction was issued by. One can imagine about the kind of time this would require to compete.

I don't doubt it is. It does remind me of similar 'debates' here regarding criminal laws too. It would have emerged in some form or another, the whole drive for 'Victims' Rights' is a powerful one in the political arena. Alex Jones is a good example of this with regards to the fanciful conspiracies regarding a North American Union and UN (?) subversion of national sovereignty.

Once upon a time we used to be a sovereign nation as well, and our laws were interpreted by our own courts.

These days, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is the highest court for Britain, which can not only override our courts but it can also declare our laws incompatible with European law and require our parliament change them.

Despite assurances for quite literally decades that the EU was a trading union, it has recently declared itself as a country "europe" with a flag, anthem, legal personality (able to sign treaties binding on it's members) and we are apparently now European citizens, supposed to owe loyalty and obedience to the union.

EU military capability is bring acquired through the mechanism of European BattleGroups, and the EU is continuing to usurp power from member nations without so much as a "by your leave" from it's populace. As a point of detail, the EU uniquely contrives to be anti democratic; the EU Constitution was voted down by several nations who were offered the opportunity for a vote, exactly the same provisions were introduced as the treaty of Lisbon without a vote being offered, since the people chose the "wrong" option.

People in the UK dislike the fact that we signed up for a trade union, and appear to have ended up with a political union with aspirations towards empire. The British people are perfectly happy with a trading union, but are not happy with the powers that the existing political union has taken already, and do not wish to transfer anything further. (and quite frankly would like some things back, like control of our borders etc)

Giving away further political powers to the EU is not something to be undertaken lightly by any politician who wants any chance of winning the next general election. Nor is borrowing more money we don't have to give to the EU in a futile attempt to "save" a currency that we are not a part of.

The problem from the British perception is that some states have been borrowing stupid amounts of money, and are now refusing to live within their means. They seem to be playing a game of chicken by demanding that stronger economies have to give them hundreds of billions of euros or they'll take the euro with them when they default.

Do other people think this is a reasonably fair view?

Since you are in Finland, what would you say the 'public' opinion(s) is towards the EU. Has there been any changes as a result of the current problems?

I'm kind of interested in hearing the opinions of my fellow European Citizens towards our Glorious Superstate, actually.

Do you feel you owe loyalty and obedience to Europe?

I suspect that my view on europe might show up the fact that I still have an old fashioned view of Europe being a continent, not a country. I don't consider Europe to be "my" government, more a government for professional political elites by professional political elites. It's not my government, it's theirs. As such, I don't consider that I owe "europe" any loyalty, obedience, allegiance or support.

Just to be perfectly clear. =p




Huffardo

Arrrr!

48,770 XP

29th November 2003

0 Uploads

4,632 Posts

0 Threads

#20 7 years ago

Freyr;5594068 EU military capability is bring acquired through the mechanism of European BattleGroups[/QUOTE] That was about time, I don't see why they can't agree on making the union a more solid military alliance. Sure, the UK prefers NATO and the US to decide for them, but they have never wanted to be a part of Europe anyway, so they could be left out as usual. Talks about Nordic military alliances haven't gotten far, and to be honest such an alliance would rely so much on Finland that it wouldn't be funny.

Freyr;5594068People in the UK dislike the fact that we signed up for a trade union, and appear to have ended up with a political union with aspirations towards empire.[/QUOTE] Emperor Barroso sounds pretty rad. I'd vote for it. =p

Freyr;5594068Nor is borrowing more money we don't have to give to the EU in a futile attempt to "save" a currency that we are not a part of.

In your case it's not as much about "saving" the euro as it is about saving the British economy.

[QUOTE=Freyr;5594068]The problem from the British perception is that some states have been borrowing stupid amounts of money, and are now refusing to live within their means. They seem to be playing a game of chicken by demanding that stronger economies have to give them hundreds of billions of euros or they'll take the euro with them when they default.

Do other people think this is a reasonably fair view?

I think that is pretty much exactly the common Finnish view as well. Now that giving in to the demands has wrecked havoc on public services and cut government jobs by the thousand people are growing tired of it. I think a lot of people would be happy to see Greece thrown out from the EU at this point, and it'll get worse.

[QUOTE=Freyr;5594068]I'm kind of interested in hearing the opinions of my fellow European Citizens towards our Glorious Superstate, actually.

Do you feel you owe loyalty and obedience to Europe?

I suspect that my view on europe might show up the fact that I still have an old fashioned view of Europe being a continent, not a country. I don't consider Europe to be "my" government, more a government for professional political elites by professional political elites. It's not my government, it's theirs. As such, I don't consider that I owe "europe" any loyalty, obedience, allegiance or support.

I'm not much for obedience to any higher power, but loyalty, sure. If the European Union only was better run and more selective, I wouldn't be opposed to a federation, but closer ties with countries that are first and foremost known for organized crime aren't very appealing.

The EU does need to fundamentally change the way it is governed, it is neither democratic nor functional and clearly it is also incapable of keeping things in order despite the insane bureaucratic machine we pay for. Maybe then a European government could feel like your government, although I must say I would prefer if it wasn't as full with idiots.

That said, the people of the UK have some sort of major former empire-complex in the way they approach the European Union. Everything should be decided by the UK, or not at all, and that is just stupidly nationalistic.